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Edmundston
City
City of Edmundston
Ville d'Edmundston
Edmundston NB skyline.JPG
Flag of Edmundston
Flag
Location within New Brunswick
Country  Canada
Province  New Brunswick
County Madawaska
Parish Madawaska
Established 1850
City April 1, 1952
Area
 • Land 107.00 km2 (41.31 sq mi)
 • Urban 38.07 km2 (14.70 sq mi)
 • Metro 902.18 km2 (348.33 sq mi)
Highest elevation 264 m (866 ft)
Lowest elevation 151 m (495 ft)
Population (2016)
 • City 16,580
 • Density 155.2/km2 (402/sq mi)
 • Change 2011-16 Increase3.4%
 • Census Ranking 232 of 5,008
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-3)
Postal code(s) E3V, E7B
Area code(s)
Dwellings 7,861
Median Income* $42,551 CDN
NTS Map 021N08
GNBC Code DALZZ

Edmundston /ˈɛdməndstən/ is a city in Madawaska County, New Brunswick, Canada.

History

See also: History of New Brunswick and List of historic places in Madawaska County, New Brunswick
Edmund Walker Head
Sir Edmund Walker Head, on behalf of whom the city of Edmundston was named

During the early colonial period, the area was a camping and meeting place of the Maliseet (Wolastoqiyik) Nation during seasonal migrations. From the mid to late eighteenth century, one of the largest Maliseet villages had been established at Madawaska and had become a refuge site for other Wabanaki peoples. The Maliseet village was originally located near the falls at the confluence of the Madawaska and Saint John Rivers. Currently, the City of Edmundston surrounds a federal Indian Reserve (St. Basile 10/Madawaska Maliseet First Nation). Originally named Petit-Sault (Little Falls) in reference to the waterfalls located where the Madawaska River merges into the Saint John River, the settlement was renamed Edmundston in 1851 after Sir Edmund Walker Head, who was Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick from 1848 to 1854 and Governor-General of Canada from 1854 to 1861. Originally a small logging settlement, Edmundston's growth is mostly attributed to the city's strategic location.

Aroostook War and the "Republic of Madawaska"

Edmunston 1872
Edmundston in 1872

The area was at the centre of the Aroostook War, a skirmish over boundary lines between the U.S.A. and what was then British North America. Originally confined to a disagreement between the State of Maine and the Colony of New Brunswick, the dispute eventually spread to involve the Government of the United States in Washington, D.C. and the British Colonial Administration in Quebec City, seat of the Governor General of Canada, who had supreme authority over all of British North America, including New Brunswick. In the wake of this international conflict, a small fortification (Fortin du Petit-Sault) was built in anticipation of a possible attack by the Americans, to complement the much larger fortification located at Fort Ingall (now Cabano) in nearby Canada (now Quebec). One of the central figures at the origin of the conflict was American-born industrialist "Colonel" John Baker, who had established sawmills and other lumber-related industries on the eastern shores of the Saint John river, an area claimed by the British that Baker wanted to be declared part of Maine as he was a fiercely nationalist American.

When the terms of the treaty that was signed following the conflict left Baker's properties firmly planted on British soil, and with the lack of support from the US Government to oppose the decision, Baker was facing the dilemma of either moving his facilities across the river on the American side, or to accept British sovereignty. Unwilling to do either, he declared the area an independent state called the "Republic of Madawaska," declaring himself head of state with the overwhelming support of the local, mostly French-speaking but independent-minded population. The "Republic" was never recognized and never had legal existence, but nevertheless the concept has remained so popular with the francophone Brayon residents on both the Canadian and American sides of the border that they refer to the region as the Republic of Madawaska to this day, and each mayor of Edmundston still receives the title of "President of the Republic of Madawaska." Baker's wife, Sophie Rice, designed the Republic's "eagle" flag that is still in use and a common sight in the area.

Amalgamation

In 1998, Edmundston, Saint-Basile, Saint-Jacques and Verret merged to form the City of Edmundston. The nearby Village of St-Hilaire was supposed to amalgamate as well, but the province changed their minds as it would make the geographical size of the new city too large.

Geography

See also: Geography of New Brunswick

Edmundston is located at the edge of the New Brunswick "panhandle," nestled in the northeastern section of the Appalachian Mountains at the junction of the Saint John and Madawaska Rivers in the northwestern part of the province.

Edmundston is strategically situated only a few kilometres from the border with Quebec and on the border with the United States, opposite the town of Madawaska, Maine, to which it is connected by the Edmundston–Madawaska Bridge.

Demographics

Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1871 400 —    
1911 1,821 +355.2%
1921 4,035 +121.6%
1931 6,430 +59.4%
1941 7,028 +9.3%
1951 10,753 +53.0%
1961 12,791 +19.0%
1971 12,365 −3.3%
1981 12,044 −2.6%
1986 11,497 −4.5%
1991 10,835 −5.8%
1996 11,033 +1.8%
2001 17,373 +57.5%
2006 16,643 −4.2%
2011 16,032 −3.7%
In 1998, Saint-Basile, Saint-Jacques, and Verret were annexed by the City of Edmundston.

Edmundston had a population of 16,643 people in 2006, which was a decrease of 4.2% from the 2001 census count (the first post-merger). The median household income in 2005 for Edmundston was $42,551, which is below the New Brunswick provincial average of $45,194.

The city is 95 per cent francophone, the highest such proportion of all cities in the province. Edmundston is the third-largest predominantly francophone city in North America outside of Quebec and the Caribbean, behind Clarence-Rockland, Ontario, which has a population exceeding 20,000 and is 68 per cent francophone, and Dieppe, which has a population of 18,565 (2006 Census) and is roughly 80 percent francophone. There are higher numbers of francophones in other Canadian cities outside the Province of Quebec such as Ottawa (122,665), Sudbury (45,420), Toronto (34,900), Winnipeg (26,855), Moncton (20,425), Timmins (17,390) and Edmonton (15,715), but francophones are a minority group in those cities. Unlike most other francophones living in the Maritimes, most people living in the Edmundston area do not consider themselves Acadians other than for statistical purposes. Most of them descend from French-Canadians who originally came from Lower Canada (now Quebec) along with a few Irish immigrants to settle the area in the century between 1820 and 1920, and absorbed the small group of Acadians who had arrived earlier. Nor do they consider themselves Québécois despite their heritage, mainly due to the politicization of Quebec-specific issues they do not feel concerned with. The local accent (colloquially called "l'accent brayon") is quite unique.

Religion

See also: Religion in Canada
CathédraleEdmundston
The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, in downtown Edmundston.

Christianity is the dominant religion of the city's inhabitants, with most residents being Roman Catholics. Moreover, Edmundston gives its name to the episcopal see of the region. Edmundston covers four Catholic parishes. Protestant denominations established in city include the Anglican Church of Canada, the United Church of Canada, the United Pentecostal Church International and a French Christian Church called Église de l'Espoir d'Edmundston. A small number of Muslims live in Edmundston and the surrounding area, practicing in their own community centre.

Climate

Edmundston experiences a Humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb). The highest temperature ever recorded in Edmundston was 37.2 °C (99 °F) on 3 June 1919. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −43.6 °C (−46.5 °F) on 16 January 2009.

Climate data for Edmundston, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1913–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.0
(55.4)
15.0
(59)
25.0
(77)
28.0
(82.4)
34.5
(94.1)
37.2
(99)
36.1
(97)
35.6
(96.1)
33.6
(92.5)
30.6
(87.1)
19.5
(67.1)
15.6
(60.1)
37.2
(99)
Average high °C (°F) -7.1
(19.2)
-4.9
(23.2)
1.1
(34)
8.6
(47.5)
17.1
(62.8)
22.0
(71.6)
24.7
(76.5)
23.7
(74.7)
18.5
(65.3)
10.9
(51.6)
3.3
(37.9)
-3.8
(25.2)
9.5
(49.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) -12.9
(8.8)
-11.3
(11.7)
-5.0
(23)
3.0
(37.4)
10.3
(50.5)
15.2
(59.4)
18.2
(64.8)
17.1
(62.8)
12.2
(54)
5.8
(42.4)
-0.6
(30.9)
-8.5
(16.7)
3.6
(38.5)
Average low °C (°F) -18.5
(-1.3)
-17.6
(0.3)
-11.1
(12)
-2.6
(27.3)
3.4
(38.1)
8.4
(47.1)
11.5
(52.7)
10.5
(50.9)
5.8
(42.4)
0.7
(33.3)
-4.5
(23.9)
-13.3
(8.1)
-2.3
(27.9)
Record low °C (°F) -43.6
(-46.5)
-39.4
(-38.9)
-36.2
(-33.2)
-28.5
(-19.3)
-9.4
(15.1)
-4.4
(24.1)
1.7
(35.1)
-1.0
(30.2)
-6.0
(21.2)
-16.1
(3)
-26.0
(-14.8)
-40.0
(-40)
-43.6
(-46.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 79.4
(3.126)
62.3
(2.453)
56.1
(2.209)
58.2
(2.291)
90.4
(3.559)
97.4
(3.835)
113.8
(4.48)
93.4
(3.677)
94.6
(3.724)
93.6
(3.685)
91.2
(3.591)
80.6
(3.173)
1,011.0
(39.803)
Rainfall mm (inches) 12.7
(0.5)
9.1
(0.358)
17.0
(0.669)
46.7
(1.839)
90.0
(3.543)
97.4
(3.835)
113.8
(4.48)
93.4
(3.677)
94.6
(3.724)
90.8
(3.575)
64.7
(2.547)
22.9
(0.902)
753.0
(29.646)
Snowfall cm (inches) 66.7
(26.26)
53.2
(20.94)
39.1
(15.39)
11.5
(4.53)
0.4
(0.16)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
2.8
(1.1)
26.5
(10.43)
57.8
(22.76)
258.0
(101.57)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 9.7 8.4 8.2 9.3 11.9 12.1 12.2 11.3 11.2 12.3 11.5 10.3 128.3
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 1.5 1.2 3.0 7.6 11.8 12.1 12.2 11.3 11.2 11.9 7.8 2.7 94.4
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 8.7 7.7 5.6 2.2 0.14 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.59 4.5 8.4 37.9
Source: Environment Canada

Arts and culture

Every June, Edmundston plays host to the Festival Jazz et Blues d'Edmundston (the Edmundston Jazz and Blues Festival).

Every year in August, there is a large cultural festival in Edmundston called the Foire Brayonne. The festival is one of the biggest French themed festivals held in Canada east of the province of Quebec.

Attractions

Edmundston
Park and bridge over the Madawaska River
NenupharJBNB
A specimen of Nymphaeaceae in the New Brunswick Botanical Garden.

Edmundston hosts two provincial historical sites:

  • Cathedral of Immaculate Conception: Built in 1924, the cathedral's architecture is said to be a synthesis of Roman and Gothic styles. Its granite facade has been recently restored, and can accommodate more than 1,200 people.
  • Fortin du Petit-Sault: Erected at the culmination of the boundary disputes between the United States of America and British North America (an international conflict known as Aroostook War) in 1841 prior to the signing of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty. This small fort was rebuilt in 2000.

Other tourist attractions include de la République Provincial Park, an 18-hole golf course, a pedestrian downtown with a number of retail stores, restaurants, a hotel and a convention centre. You can also visit the Antique Automobile Museum, the Madawaska Historic Museum, and many other museums.

The New Brunswick Botanical Garden is in suburban Saint-Jacques, on seven hectares with more than 80,000 plants, making it the largest arboretum east of Montreal.

Edmundston is fortunate to have a downhill skiing facility in the city at Mont Farlagne. This facility has 3 lifts, a t-bar, a double chair, and a quad chair. It has 14 trails and an elevation of 690 feet. Snowmaking is available. Five trails are lit for night skiing.

Transportation infrastructure

Edmundston is served by New Brunswick Route 2, a four-lane all weather divided highway and, on the other side of the Saint John River, by U.S. Route 1. There is a municipal airport 17 kilometres north of Edmundston which serves general aviation traffic. The Trans Canada Trail passes through Edmundston, having been converted for pedestrian and bicycling use after abandonment of the New Brunswick Railway.

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